Past Review

By (Development Economics and International Development., Clark University) for

CGEE: Windhoek - Nation-Building, Globalization, and Decolonizing the Mind

What did you gain/learn from your experience abroad? Was it worthwhile?
My study abroad experience was definitely worthwhile, even when it didn't go smoothly. I think I learned flexibility, a willingness to learn and be positive. I was surprised at my ability to adapt, and I definitely fell in love with the country.

Personal Information

The term and year this program took place: Fall 2009

Review Your Program

* Overall educational experience

Academic rigor, intensity, resources, etc.

The most valuable learning experiences I had didn't take place in the classroom, but in my internship, travel seminars, and just living in Windhoek. However, the classes did give good background about the history of Namibia and South Africa. Teachers are not always clear about expectations or assignments, which is difficult.

* Host Country Program Administration

On-site administration of your program

While the staff is all very caring and wants students to have a positive experience, the most senior staff member does not always ensure that things get done or that issues are addressed. Miscommunication happens amongst staff which led to problems for students. I had an overwhelmingly positive experience with the house staff and intern.

* Housing:

How satisfied were you with your living arrangements?

Living in a house with 24 people went fairly well! However, cleanliness was a big issue which could have been limited earlier on.

* Food:

The food was satisfactory, but there were occasional issues with shortages.

* Social & Cultural Integration:

How integrated did you feel with the local culture?

The most positive and enriching experiences I had were in the amount of travel that we did, the internship that I had, and in spending time exploring Windhoek and Namibia as a whole. This was possible even without going out constantly.

* Health Care:

How well were health issues addressed during the program?

* Safety:

While safety was stressed, I never felt particularly unsafe. One has to take the usual precautions. The biggest thing was feeling unsafe as a foreign woman, because of the often aggressive nature of men that may be unfamiliar.

If you could do it all over again would you choose the same program? Yes


* Money: How easily were you able to live on a student's budget?

(1 = not very easy/$200+ on food & personal expenses/week, 2.5 = $100/week, 5 = very easily/minimal cost)


Language acquisition improvement?

While Damara is taught, it is more of a conversation starter with host families. The language class could be taught in a much more enjoyable way, that facilitates further learning.

A Look Back

* What do you know now that you wish you knew before going on this program? Go for it! The moments that were the most rewarding were those that I went into with flexibility and a positive attitude.